Apple has acquired education technology startup LearnSprout for an undisclosed sum, via Bloomberg. LearnSprout’s software lets teachers track student progress and test scores, organize class achievement targets and more school-oriented features. The acquisition follows Apple’s announcement of iOS 9.3, which includes several major new features for iPads in education, including multi-user account switching.
LearnSprout’s features were mainly marketed at PC and Mac users. With an Apple acquisition, it is likely the technology will be ported to iOS as Apple continues to push iPad into education sectors.
Apple gave Bloomberg its standard form comment on the acquisition:
Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” said Colin Johnson, a spokesman for Apple.
iOS 9.3 will include several enhancements for education customers, including shared iPad mode where users can switch between their user profiles to access independent data and apps. It also includes a new Classroom app for teachers that coordinates lessons and student usage of iOS devices. It would make sense to integrate grade tracking into this system in the future, just like what LearnSprout offers. There is clearly a lot of overlap between the two companies in this space.
With iPad sales gradually falling, Apple is actively promoting iPad into enterprise and education sectors to maintain growth and boost sales. LearnSprout software could end up contributing to this, adding another reason for schools to switch to iPads for their curriculum. The new iPad Pro is very much targeted at this too, with a larger display canvas for multitasking multiple apps. Apple is also prepping an iPad Air 3, potentially to be released as soon as March.
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I would like to see the Shared iPad mode make its way over to be a feature for all iPads. I think it would be great for family/friends who share devices. Of course, Apple would probably need to stop skimping on the memory for this to be useful to consumers.
Apple now has a second chance to get education right. Hopefully LearnSprout won’t turn into another PowerSchool.
I think this is the best direction. Empower the teachers first and then the students.
I’ve just, marked over 250 exam papers where 1/3 of the answers are multiple choice or single word answers. The teachers should put these questions on the iPad and leave pen and paper to the questions that demand multi sentence answers. The iPad should mark the iPad set and then this would allow teachers(me!) to give more detailed comments on the results of students longer answers.
As with all technology, it is not about time saving time but about using the time more effectively.
Sounds like a similar product we produced in Australia Called the Student Performance Analyser